Each year Betfair runs an internal technology conference based around its DevOps community (Developers, SRE, ITOps, Security, Infrastructure, Product). But what to do for the rest of the year to keep the communication and innovation flowing? Our answer is the DevOps Roadshow…
Luckily the numbers are on our side – our business runs in quarters, one used by DOCCON (our tech conference). This leaves three, coincidently the same as the number of engineering centres we have (London, Cluj-Napoca and Porto). As such the DevOps Roadshow visits one of these centres each quarter.
The format is straightforward – we offer 14 half hour slots and invite anyone in the business to apply to present in one or more of them. It could be a straightforward presentation, a demo or a discussion. We then publish the running list and invite anyone in the relevant office to come and attend those presentations that interest them.
Examples of topics have been:
- The World’s Smallest Dashboard
- Auto-Scaling GO agents with Docker
- Pets vs Cattle – a debate
- A guided post-mortem of a recent interesting database issue
- Decentralised monitoring and service discovery
- Blameless PiRs
- Automated certificate renewal
We also film the entire day and offer the 30-minute videos on our internal media-server for all at Betfair to watch. This not only allows those that missed the presentation to watch it – but also builds a training library.
The events have been well received with 10 to 30 individuals attending most sessions. There is also the benefit of bringing some of the DevOps Community (often working virtually together) into contact to share dinner afterwards and discuss their projects further.
Betfair is lucky that its DevOps Community is large enough that the diversity of topics is capable of maintaining a once-a-quarter schedule. However, I would encourage even the smaller business to try and run one of these a year – the teams enjoy seeing new ideas and the social side helps to promote further communication.
/Richard Haigh is the Global Head of Reliability and Operations in our Hammersmith Office.